ignites our passions like a sexy sports car. And we've gotten more than a little
aroused in recent years with some truly compelling sports cars. But none so compelling
so as to win not only our Most Sex Appeal category, but our Car of the Year award
as well. But the incredible new Cadillac XLR has done just that.
SPORTS CAR OF THE YEAR
sports car credentials start with its eye-catching styling, which is arguably
the most luscious example yet of Cadillac's art-and-science form vocabulary also
seen on the SRX sport wagon and the CTS sport sedan. Sure, its folding metal top
is a work of art. And sure, its luxurious interior could just as easily belong
in a Maserati or a Mercedes-Benz.
we believe that a sports car wouldn't be worth a drop of fuel if it didn't have
an incredible engine, and the XLR's 320-hp V-8 indeed is one incredible power
plant. Mated to a five-speed automatic transmission, the throaty V-8's 315 lb-ft
of torque twist the rear wheels with enough accelerative power to hurl the luxury
roadster to 60 mph in under six seconds. And based as it is on a future Corvette
chassis, the XLR generates near-supercar handling numbers.
the XLR, it's safe to say that Cadillac is back at the top of the heap. And now
it has the awards to prove it.
The unbelievably powerful 2004 Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG starts
where the beautiful, graceful but more luxury-minded SL500 leaves off. The ace
up the SL55's sleeve is the hand-built, supercharged, 469-hp V-8 engine that catapults
the roadster forward with the alacrity once found only in Ferraris and Lamborghinis.
Sure, its price is in the nosebleed section, but no one ever said that dream cars
like these come cheap.
An unexpected offspring of the Daimler-Benz/Chrysler merger
is the alluring and sporty Crossfire coupe, which blends the best of the solid
Mercedes-Benz SLK platform with expressive styling such that Chrysler designers
are known for. Not only is the Crossfire a feast for the eyes when standing still,
it is a feast for the soul when charging down your favorite twisty two-laner.
And at less than $35K to start, it won't feast on your wallet, either.
OUR '04 CADILLAC XLR ROAD TEST REVIEW]